Pope Francis greets a member of the FIAT Association Pope Francis greets a member of the FIAT Association  (Vatican Media)

Pope: ‘War in Ukraine recalls urgent need for society of love'

Pope Francis greets participants in a symposium organized by the FIAT Association, and urges humanity to build a caring and loving society to overcome the various crises shaking our world.

By Devin Watkins

Participants in a conference on Cardinal Leo Jozef Suenens met with Pope Francis in the Vatican on Saturday.

The Pope praised the work of the FIAT Association which organized the symposium to explore the legacy of its founder, the late Belgian Cardinal, and his associate Veronica O’Brien.

He urged members of the charismatic group to focus their attention on the essential task of evangelization, which he said is at the heart of the Church’s mission.

“More than ever, we are called to be protagonists of an outgoing Church, under the impulse of the Holy Spirit.”

Human dignity in the face of war

As secularization roots itself deeper into global society, said the Pope, the Church needs Christians to bear more convincing witness to their profession of faith and the “flame of hope.”

He pointed to the many crises facing the world, especially the war in Ukraine, which recall “the urgency of a society of love.”

“In the eyes of our brothers and sisters who have become victims to the horrors of war, we see the profound and pressing need for a life marked by dignity, peace, and love.”

The Blessed Virgin Mary, added Pope Francis, can teach us how to live with a missionary spirit in nearness to those who suffer, as we open our hearts to them.

“We must walk with them, fight with them for their human dignity, and spread the love of God everywhere,” he said.

Society built on love

Pope Francis went on to call for the Church to help build a society in which fraternal relationships and humane treatment of others form the foundation.

Love of others, he said citing his encyclical Fratelli tutti, “moves us to seek the best for their lives. Only by cultivating this way of relating to one another will we make possible a social friendship that excludes no one and a fraternity that is open to all.”

Viewing the world with eyes full of hope

The Pope wrapped up his remarks to the FIAT Association by urging them to offer the world a message filled with humanity through their words and actions.

“May you draw from the source of goodness and truth through prayer and mission, and find strength in communion with the Risen Christ to see the world with a positive outlook and a gaze of love, hope, compassion, and tenderness, with special attention to people who are vulnerable and marginalized.”

Listen to our report
23 April 2022, 10:49